From Princess Leia to Hermione Granger to Katniss Everdeen, pop culture has gifted us with some remarkable female role models over time. Wonder Woman in particular has stood the test of time, representing powerful femininity for almost 80 years. Decades after her first comic book appearance in 1941, Princess Diana of Themyscira is finally getting her own movie. With her indestructible bracelets and iconic Lasso of Truth, Wonder Woman hits the big screen on June 2. In preparation for her big day, here’s a look at exactly why she’s so important.
Though both Marvel and DC produce television shows with female lead and supporting roles, this is the first full-length film from either studio to feature a female as the starring role. 2004’s “Catwoman” didn’t actually feature Catwoman herself as the star, and was also considered a box office failure. The movie’s poor construction led to subpar reviews, but it has been speculated that the negative reaction has scared off major studios from producing female-led films as it appears that women aren’t marketable to a wide audience. DC is firing back at these presumptions with Wonder Woman’s standalone feature, putting women back in the spotlight where they belong.
On top of being a groundbreaking event for the superhero film industry, inspiration and motivation can be found within the movie itself. When conflict arises outside of her paradise island home, Wonder Woman flees her safe haven and joins the battle, convinced she can help cease the war. Trained as an unconquerable warrior, Wonder Woman appears on the frontlines of the action, fighting alongside men as she discovers the true potential of her powers. This shows that Wonder Woman can engage in combat generally considered masculine without compromising her femininity or womanhood.
Gal Gadot, 2017’s Wonder Woman, has expressed to the media several times what an honor it is to play such an influential character not just for the movie industry, but for her personal life as well. Gadot is the mother of two young girls, born in 2011 and 2017, and she stresses the importance of them having strong females to look up to at such an early age. All moms are superheroes, but Gal Gadot surely takes the phrase to another level.
Wonder Woman has been a staple in the fight for gender equality and the unification of women. With power, courage and—of course—a little bit of wonder, don’t miss her on the big screen this summer.
Chloe Becker is a senior professional writing student with a concentration in environmental studies and biology. She’s well versed in the works of Edgar Allan Poe, as well as the lore of World of Warcraft. Keep up with her (and her pets) on Instagram at @chlopbeck.